Joey Elliott spent the weekend out of town, so he missed all the gushing and love about his play following the win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Once brought up to speed, though, the quarterback who single-handedly saved the Winnipeg Blue Bombers season – forgive the hyperbole, but that’s the way the winds are blowing these days – took the attention of his 33-43 for 406 yards and one touchdown performance in stride, calling the excitement generated from his play and the Bombers 32-25 win Thursday night nothing more than "momentum" for the last-place club.
"It’s just momentum, and that’s what you want to create as an offence and as a team," Elliott said after practice at Canad Inns Stadium Monday. "You try to create momentum in the town, and our fans will be a lot louder come this week versus the B.C. Lions.
"We have the same expectations we’ve had all year. Offensively, we want to be able to put points up and have a fun, exciting offence. We want fans to come and think, ‘All right, we’re going to put up some points.’"
If there was any danger of Thursday’s break-out effort swelling Elliott’s head, it’s minimal at best. Head coach Paul LaPolice confirmed as much Monday, saying Elliott is smart enough to know where his true evaluation comes from. And guess what everyone – it’s not from the media, the fans or the message boards.
"I think he understands that most important feedback for this building than the fans or the media, because, no offence, they’re (the fans and the media) are fickle," LaPolice said. "We coach him up on what he needs to do better and we try to stay as even-keeled with a win and a loss as possible."
And what did the coach take away from Elliott’s performance, now that he’s had a week to digest everything? As expected, LaPolice said there was still room between Elliott and the ceiling.
"He (Elliott) managed the game well. He made some nice throws," he said. "He’s got to protect the ball better. There were two throws (where) he didn’t stay with his reads and they could have been intercepted… a lot of room for improvement.
"The biggest thing for a quarterback is to play consistent football – that’s what good ones do. He did a very good job. He (helped give) us great offensive output for us, but we have to put more points on the board.
Elliott gets the start when Winnipeg (2-5) hosts the B.C. Lions (5-2) Friday night.
More Bombers news from Monday’s practice:
- Strong-side linebacker Brandon Stewart looks like he’ll be a player for the B.C. game Friday. Stewart has missed five games with a knee injury, and is wearing a big brace on the joint during practice. His return would bring the Winnipeg defence to full health for the first time this season.
- Defensive back Jonathan Hefney – who filled in for Stewart during his absence – sat out Monday’s practice for maintenance reasons. He should be OK for Friday, the team says.
- Quarterback Buck Pierce has been ruled out this week and won’t dress Friday. LaPolice said the starting quarterback probably won’t start practising until next week. The coach also dismissed any suggestion that Pierce suffered a setback as he tries to return from a foot injury.
- Others not practising Monday include running back Chad Simpson (foot), running back Carl Volny (hamstring), running back Nathan Riva (hamstring) and defensive lineman JT Gilmore (calf).